Archive for July, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Samuel 12:1

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 – Proper 13/Ordinary 18, Year B

2 Samuel 12:13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”  Nathan said to David, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die. 

David suffers consequences from his choices, but he has been forgiven by God.  I can only imagine the depth of sorrow David must have felt at disappointing God, but the story of David can give all of us courage to face those darker moments in our lives and trust in our forgiving God. 

Prayer: Psalm 51:11-12Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me in a willing spirit.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Samuel 11:26-27

Monday, July 30, 2012 – Proper 13/Ordinary 18, Year B

For this coming Sunday, the lectionary offers the following scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-12; Ephesians 4:1-16 and John 6:24-35.  Alternate passages include Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 and Psalm 78:23-29.

2 Samuel 11:26-27When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him.  When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.  But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

David loved and trusted God, but this part of David’s life seemed to counter that idea.  But David is not unlike us. We are imperfect beings who are loved by God despite ourselves. 

Prayer: Psalm 51:9-10Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 6:16-20

Friday, July 27, 2012 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year B

John 6:16-20When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum.  It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.  But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

I take comfort in knowing that the disciples weren’t always pictures of unfailing faith.  Like us, their ability to trust, to have faith, wasn’t always complete.  Just as Jesus said to his disciples, he stands by us saying, “Do not be afraid.”  May our faith grow to trust those words at all times.

Prayer: Steadfast God, your faith in us is greater than our faith in you.  Work within us so that our faith in you deepens.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 6:9-11

Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year B

John 6:9-11 – “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.  But what are they among so many people?”  Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.”  Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.  Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

This is the only account of the feeding of the 5,000 that identifies “a boy” as the one who had brought the food that was then distributed to all.  It seems that a child would be an unlikely central character in one of Jesus’ most remembered miracles, but as with David, we are once again reminded that God can work through anyone, even us. 

Prayer: God of mystery, help us sense your presence in us so that we will venture to stretch beyond our own limitations to reach heights only possible through you.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 145:14-17

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year B

Psalm 145:14-17The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.  The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.  You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.  The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.

I like the visual image of God holding my forearm and gently pressing a hand into my back supporting me so I can stand a bit taller.  I hope that each of us has the opportunity today to prevent a fall or to help someone stand a taller.

Prayer:  God of compassion, be with us in our walk with you today.  Help us to be instruments of your kindness in all we do.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Samuel 11:9-11

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2 Samuel 11:9-11But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.  When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “You have just come from a journey.  Why did you not go down to your house?”  Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife?  As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.” 

Uriah returns from battle at the request of David, but he refuses to stay at his home or to see his wife because of his loyalty to his colleagues who are still on the battlefield.  Do you have a Uriah in your life?  Someone who will be loyal to you at a deep level?  If so, give thanks for that person today.  If not, pray that God will send such a person into your life.

Prayer: Gracious God, you give us loyal friends and family on whom we can rely for honest advice and understanding, unwavering friendship.  Thank you.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Samuel 11:2-5

Monday, July 23, 2012 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year B

The lectionary takes us from King David and Bathsheba to the feeding of the 5,000 this week.  Those scriptures include: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6:1-21.  Alternate selections include 2 Kings 4:42-44 and Psalm 145:10-18.

2 Samuel 11:2-5It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful.  David sent someone to inquire about the woman.  It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”  So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.  Then she returned to her house.  The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

Despite this chapter in David’s life, God continued to work through him to do amazing things.  We approach God as flawed human beings, and amazingly, God uses us anyway.

Prayer:  Steadfast God, we can fail miserably at times.  Thank you for continuing to use us and have faith in us despite ourselves.  AMEN.


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